The laws surrounding immigration are complicated and numerous. As if things weren’t complicated enough, these laws also undergo frequent changes. The result is that many immigrants in the United States are uncertain about their current rights. Of the several questions commonly asked by immigrants, the most common ones are always the ones about what kinds of rights they have as immigrants.
First of all, legal immigrants have rights relating to work. When it comes to the immigration laws in the US, all immigrants have the right to minimum wages for full time work. Should they work overtime then they are also entitled to overtime pay that is valued higher than regular pay. Immigrants have rights to fair treatment and are legally entitled to fair wages. All immigrants are allowed to keep their passports and other identification documents. Demanding and taking away worker’s ID’s and identification documents is a breach of the law and immigrants may file complaints against their employers should they demand something along these lines.
Immigration laws also allow immigrant employees to request help from work groups such as unions and labor rights. They also have the right to report any abuse they may be suffering on their job. This includes having a safe work environment that is free of any hazardous materials and keeps them access to proper safety equipment. Also, all their safety equipment must be in proper working order. Immigrants may ask for assistance from US courts should there be a need to resolve any issues or conflicts.
Secondly, immigrants have rights related to being arrested. Just like a permanent US resident, immigrants need to hear their Miranda rights. Immigrants have the right to remain silent if they are detained or arrested. This includes the right to remain silent about immigration status. The right to an attorney to defend and represent them and discuss their situation is also available to immigrants
One more notable right immigrants have is the right to refuse signing any documents. Immigrants may refuse to sign anything and to demand representation from a lawyer. The lawyer can help make sure the document is legally proper and drawn out correctly. It’s always considered a good move to wait to get legal advice from a lawyer before signing any documents, especially if an immigrant isn’t fully fluent in the English language. Many larger metropolises in the United States have valuable legal resources for newcomers to the country. The NYC Office Of Immigration Affairs is a great example of such a resource.
There are several other rights available to immigrants put in place to keep them protected. Having a good lawyer on your side may potentially save your life in some cases as sometimes being deported can mean life or death. An immigration lawyer with a good legal background will make sure that an immigrants right are not violated.
It is always in an immigrants best interests to have proper identification documents or copies thereof carried on them at all times. Proof of immigration status is necessary so whether someone is a legal green card holder or are a non-immigrant alien I.D — they should also carry around the I-94 card, a passport, or other documents that can prove their current status. Remember, should an immigrant ever be questioned or detained, they indeed have the right to remain silent and seek out the help of a lawyer.